OmniTRAX and Effingham County Launch Partnership to Develop Land Near Savannah
OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation services companies in North America and an affiliate of The Broe Group, and the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (ECIDA) are developing a 2,700-acre tract near Rincon, Georgia.
The Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub, located 12 miles from the Port of Savannah and served by the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads, is expected to attract manufacturers, processers, distributors and others.
“The Savannah market is growing rapidly, supported by the fourth busiest port in the nation,” said Kevin Shuba, Chief Executive Officer of OmniTRAX. “This is a perfect opportunity for OmniTRAX to supply the capabilities and experience gained at our other industrial development sites to create a world-class business park. We’re delighted to be working with John Henry and his team to bring growth to the region.”
Under the arrangement, ECIDA is contributing the land to Savannah Gateway Industrial Hub and OmniTRAX will provide capital for infrastructure including a rail system to connect the tenants to the Class 1 operators, development expertise and marketing services. Benefits for companies locating at the new site include proximity to one of the country’s leading ports, the flexibility of dual rail service, an educated and productive work force and the flexibility to purchase or lease a parcel.
“This is a true partnership for Effingham County that will bring thousands of high quality jobs and economic growth to the community,” said John Henry, CEO of ECIDA. “OmniTRAX has a proven track record from several other locations around the country for creating the infrastructure required to attract great companies to our site.”
ECIDA had sought a development partner for the property, formerly known as the Research Forest, for several years. When OmniTRAX was approached early last year to determine interest, the two entities quickly learned they shared a common development goal for the property and began discussions in mid-2015.
OmniTRAX has drafted a tentative master plan for the park that will allow for several phases of development and will ultimately provide in excess of 1,800 acres of industrial property including a single user mega site. The company has developed other large-scale projects including the Great Western Industrial Park, a 3,000 acre, dual-rail served facility north of Denver, Colorado, and the GEOTRAC Industrial Hub, a 1,400 acre rail served facility at the Port of Brownsville, Texas.
OmniTRAX is one of America’s largest short line railroad holding companies offering bundled services including terminal and switching, transloading, processing, fueling, storage, and maintenance. The company also has successful industrial development and marketing experience, a rarity for rail operators, and currently services many Fortune 500 companies.
“OmniTRAX’s success in rail operations were a real attraction to us, the size and dual-rail nature of this site is what truly gives it potential to be a stand-alone premium site in the Southeast,” Henry added. “We knew in order to capitalize on the site’s potential we had to find a partner that took the rail into consideration. Rail operators that also develop industrial property are few and far between. Given the success that they have had in Colorado and elsewhere we found a respect for the company.”
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